Researchers Toolkit including training

Supporting, helping and enabling our staff to get involved in health research

Our aim is to equip our staff with the tools, skills and confidence to take part in and ultimately lead in the research process.

The chance to get involved in research is open to everyone – regardless of job and any prior research experience. To get started all you need is to want to find out more and a bit of time.

Our Research Competency Training Framework

We’ve developed a Clinical and Health Research Competency Training Framework which outlines the knowledge and required training that is needed for each competency level. The below diagram offers a high level summary:

Research and Development Competancy Framework

This summary roadmap shows the 5 competency levels and outlines the required level of knowledge and training needed for each level. The competencies are based not only on knowledge and experience but also the amount of time you are able to commit to research.

Competency levels and themes:        

There are 5 different competency levels starting from core up to expert. To move onto the next competency level all areas of the previous competency need to be completed. Below gives a summary of the learning outcomes and capabilities for each competency level:

1. Core

  • Has an awareness of the specified skill details and knows where to go to find out more
  • Is aware there is a research department and we are a research active NHS Trust
  • Takes no active role in research
  • Core Level Research Competeny Training Framework

2. Beginner

3. Intermediate

4. Advanced

5. Expert

These flow charts break down each competency into their themes and skills and at a glance show what you need to know for each competency level.

Framework summary

Take a look here at the full Training Framework for Clincal and Health Care Research and see how you can get started on your research journey and don’t forget to visit the Research pages on the intranet.

Training, grants and qualification updates

2023 EBP Conference — 16-20 October: Recordings now available here

National conference hosted by us: Leaders in their field and inspirational research careers. 

We had a fantastic week hosting our 3rd FREE virtual EBP conference which this year went national! HUGE thanks to the fantastic host of speakers who engaged and inspired delegates and to everyone who attended. Over 650 tickets were allocated across the week and delegate feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

  • The specialisms covered each day (with certificates of attendance available) were:
    • Day 1:       Social & Community Psychiatry; Perinatal mental health; Addiction; Psychosis and cognitive neuroscience. Speakers: Dr John Devaprium; Prof Swaran Singh; Dr Jan Larkin; Claire Marshall; Dr Maria Dauvermam
    • Day 2:       Psychosis; Cognitive screening and rehabilitation; Dementia.    Speakers: Prof Max Birchwood; Dr Shirley Evans; Prof Rosh das Nair.
    • Day 3: Inspirational research career journeys.    Speakers: Prof Catherine Evans; Sarah Ellison; Dr Tania Gergel; Dr Monica Leverton.
    • Day 4: Dietetics; Physiotherapy; Community based research; the RIVA study.    Speakers: Dr Graeme O’Connor; Dr Claire Minshull; Prof Eleanor Bradley & Dr Peter Unwin.
    • Day 5: EBP - what's happening here at HWHCT.    Speakers: Simon Meadows; Abgail Brown; Saffron Davies; Paul MacDonald; Prof Peter Langdon.


For further information including links to the conference recordings and how to request your conference certificate see our EBP Conference webpage.

Keep up to date with all things research by following us on: Twitter; Instagram, LinkedIn, our intranet pages, our webpage, or email us.


Research Collaborator

We launched the Research Collaborator role (similar to a 'champion' like role) in November 2022 whose aim was to enable ANYONE who works at HWHCT to get involved in research. 30 staff stepped up and have supported the delivery of research across the Trust. HUGE thanks for your work to date.

As we approached our 1st birthday we welcomed anyone who may be interested in joining our 2nd cohort of Research Collaborators to  get in touch    and book onto a virtual 'finding out more' session in November. Although these have now happened please don't hesitate to still get in touch if you're interested in joining. 

If you want to help us promote research within your teams as well as to patients, maybe learn something new, meet a group of like-minded people, and can give 1 hour a month (max), then we’d love to hear from you. We welcome new people at any time so if you're unable to make the above dates don't worry. Email:    for further information.


PI (Principal Investigator) essentials virutal training

Are you a new PI or someone who's interested in finding out more? We have 4 proposed training dates in the spring: Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 March, 10am — 12noon and 1pm — 3pm sessions on both days.

Aims and objectives of the course are:

- Discuss the PI leadership role in effective study identification, set up, recruitment and conduct.

- Explore 3 elements of success in PI role: engagement, oversight and communication

- Identify the skills and behaviours required to be an effective PI

 If you have any queries and/or are interested in booking onto a session please  contact us.


NHS Leadership Academy - Sustainability Leadership for Greener Health and Care Programme  

This programme is designed to develop your leadership abilities, giving you the tools and knowledge to build a greener, more sustainable health system. It will help you foster confidence in yourself and your capacity to lead the health system towards net-zero.

This programme is free for health and care staff, click here to view the full eligibility criteria.

For more details please see:


Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) webinars and training: 

Forthcoming Research learning lectures

These are a series of lectures covering a variety of topics relating to basic science, clinical trial methodology and statistics.

The lectures provide career advice for anyone who wishes to know more about research or work towards a career in research or academia and are open to ALL Health and Care professionals with an interest in learning more about research.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from and put questions to research experts from across the world.

Details for future lectures will be posted here when available.


Mentorship scheme for Forum Members

Are you interested in becoming a research mentor or being mentored through your research and career development journey? This scheme is open to everyone, from complete beginners to seasoned academics and all those in between. The process will be largely independent and reliant on the initiative and

organisation of both the mentors and the mentees. Please read the Mentorship Scheme guidelines on our webpage before signing up.

Sign up here to be a mentor
Sign up here to be a mentee


Access Research Funding and Training Opportunities 

Access the QNI unique repository of research funding opportunities and training schemes open to community nurses. Find out more


CIDD seminar series 2023-2024, University of Warwick

The Centre for Research in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), University of Warwick has put together an exciting line up international speakers for the new academic year 2023-2024. If you or your colleagues would like to attend, please reply to the CIDD inbox with details of the seminars you wish to attend to book a place. All seminars will be hybrid, so a Microsoft Teams link will be forwarded to you if you cannot attend in-person. Dates for 2024 seminars will be released in a later edition.


Associate Principle Investigator Scheme Virtual Education Event - 30 November ‘23

The Associate Principal Investigator Scheme team are delighted to announce that they will be holding a virtual Educational Event on 30 November 2023 from 9:00am until 12:30pm. Please save the date and share this with colleagues who may be interested in attending. For information about what to expect on the day and to express your interest in attending, visit the events page:


Midlands Mental Health (MMH) and Neurosciences PHD Programme for Healthcare Professionals

The Midlands hosts the most innovative centres in mental health and neurosciences (MH&N), including digital mental health, clinical trials, neuroimaging, and epidemiology, serving an area of huge clinical need.

The Midlands Mental Health & Neurosciences PhD Programme is led by the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, and University of Warwick, and our local NHS Trusts in the Midlands. Click here to find out more.

‘From the Research Design Service (RDS) desk - literature searching essentials
A crucial part of any research funding application is conducting a thorough literature search of your topic area. This can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry – help is at hand!

The RDS has recently created a collection of literature-searching resources to support you. June’s RDS blog provides an overview on how each resource can help.’


Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2024: 20 & 21.3.24

The UK’s largest dementia research conference is taking place in-person at the ACC in Liverpool and online. The Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference provides a fantastic chance to gain insights from colleagues working across basic, translational and clinical dementia research.


There will be an Early Careers Day on the Tuesday 19 March 2024, taking place in-person at Liverpool and online. This full day event is designed specifically to support those starting their careers in dementia research.

For more details please see:


The NHS Research & Development (R&D) Forum Annual Conference is back for 2024.

RDF24 will take place in-person at Celtic Manor, Wales, between the 12th-14th May 2024, held in association with the Health Research Authority.

Click here for the latest updates.


The NIHR-AoMRC Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework

A framework of master’s level qualifications is being developed jointly by the NIHR and the AoMRC, led by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) to provide the necessary networks, skills and confidence needed for healthcare practitioners from any regulated profession to lead and support clinical research delivery.

It consists of two key elements:

Online modules - Flexible access to modules of high-quality interactive learning. These theoretical modules will develop knowledge and insight of the approaches to, and delivery of, clinical research.

Research Practice Experiences (RPE) – Practical modules that enable learners to take part in clinical research in their area of interest, as part of existing research studies, whilst being supported under the supervision and mentorship of a senior researcher. This will develop their experience and expertise to grow future local research leadership capability within the NHS. For more information, visit here.


Training resources for research in the wider care and community settings

This spreadsheet displays the results of a scoping review of local, regional, national and wider learning resources to support research engagement and delivery in the wider care and community setting non-NHS setting.

Training resources for research in the wider care and community settings - Google Sheets


Midlands Mental Health (MMH) and Neurosciences PHD Programme for Healthcare Professionals

The Midlands hosts the most innovative centres in mental health and neurosciences (MH&N), including digital mental health, clinical trials, neuroimaging, and epidemiology, serving an area of huge clinical need.

The Midlands Mental Health & Neurosciences PhD Programme is led by the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, and University of Warwick, and our local NHS Trusts in the Midlands. Click here to find out more.

Ready to get started?

Complete this form and email it back to us so we can help you get started. Don’t forget to have a chat with your line manager and build research into your career development plan or your continuing professional development (CPD) conversations.

We’re here to support and guide you every step of the way.

Frequently asked questions

What's 'portfolio' research?

Portfolio research is large-scale clinical research that has been adopted onto the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) research portfolio. There are several large-scale portfolio studies currently running in the Trust in which our Clinical Research Practitioners can assist. If you've heard of a study you are interested in please contact u s.

Where can I find out about non-portfolio research?

Talk to Sam Whitby, Research Manager, if you want to find out about non-portfolio research. Call 07872 421195 or email.

I need help formalising my research idea – where do I go?

Talk to your colleagues about your idea. You'll need to establish whether it's research, audit or an evaluation. If it is research you'll need to do a literature review to see if someone has already researched the area - the Health Librarians can help with this.

The National Institute for Health Research Design Service can then help you develop your idea and point you in the right direction to secure funding. Please also contact us for support with developing your research question.

How do I get funding for my research project?

There are funding streams and available awards available from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) there is also a specific funding stream aimed at clinicians within ‘Research for Patient Benefit.’

I'm doing a research project as part of my MSc or PhD - what do I do to get it approved?

First ensure your study is research and not an audit or evaluation. You will need external ethics approval for most research undertaken within the NHS. Go to the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) for more information. You then need to get local Trust approval from Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust. Call or email Sam Whitby for more information: or 07872 421195.